Meth Lab Cleanup
Meth Lab Cleanup Services in Alabama
Meth lab cleanup presents a unique emergency response situation, as the criminals running the labs are usually handling extremely toxic chemicals with little regard for contamination. One Stop Environmental has cleaned up clandestine drug labs for the DEA, local law enforcement, insurance companies, property owners, and realtors since January of 2006. OSE’s trained technicians have safely performed meth lab cleanup at over 5,040 sites in Alabama to date.
Upon entering a lab our team conducts a thorough assessment of the site, determines what steps need to be taken to make the area safe, and generally have all of the lab materials removed for disposal in an hour or less. We bring in a third party company to conduct a wipe test to tell us the level of contamination that exists after the major hazards have been removed. Those samples go to a certified EPA accredited lab for analysis. The results from those tests plus information from our technicians’ onsite inspection are used to determine a lump sum price for total decontamination. When decontamination is complete, another wipe test is performed to ensure hazards are no longer present and a thorough report is given to the client.
Our cleanup technicians are trained in the following areas: OSHA 40 HR Hazwoper, DOT HazMat as well as additional safety training for trailer use, Blood Borne Pathogen, First Aid / CPR, DEA specific adulteration procedures, DEA Contractor Personnel Reporting Requirements, and DEA “Red Book”. OSE trains its employees to and maintains the following spill programs: Spill Prevention and Response, Spill Incident Training, Spill Management, and General Laboratory Safety. This training prepares our team to handle any type of spill that may occur or has occurred at the lab prior to our arrival.
Proper disposal is a crucial part of meth lab cleanup. OSE abides by all federal, state, and local regulations. Waste manifest and profiles are completed and disposal approved at the facility before arranging for pickup. We ensure all waste is correctly packaged for transport before loading. We provide our clients with all manifests, bill of lading, and certificates of disposal for their records.
Meth Lab Cleanup to Support the Drug Enforcement Agency
OSE has responded to thousands of clandestine drug lab sites and hundreds of container sites throughout Alabama for the DEA since 2007. Our technicians were responsible for chemical identification, segregation, proper packaging, manifesting and transportation/disposal of materials removed from the lab sites. After 2012 the program shifted to container pick up. Our team scheduled a pick up time with each container site in Alabama. On site our responsibility was to verify all materials were properly packaged for transport, re-packaged anything needing it, verify all chain of custody documents were correctly filled, properly complete all manifest paperwork, load the truck and transport all materials back to OSE’s secure holding area. They then arranged for final disposal.
When this contract transferred from an onsite cleanup effort to the container program, our supervisor was instrumental in assisting local law enforcement with this transition. He worked with the DEA and their training teams to educate field personnel on how to properly identify, segregate and package materials found at an active lab. He was a resource in educating and then answering questions off site for all the paperwork associated with cleanup and disposal efforts.
The Dangers Associated with Meth Labs
Methamphetamine, also known as “meth,” “speed”, “crank”, “crystal”, and “ice”, is an illegal drug typically made in clandestine makeshift labs. These labs are often found in apartments, houses, hotel rooms, mobile homes, storage facilities, and even vehicles. Producing methamphetamine involves the use of a variety of chemicals including solvents, metals, salts, corrosives and explosives. Hazardous and flammable chemicals can be spilled or emitted to the air during production. There is also a risk of fire or explosion.
Many of the chemicals used and the additional compounds and by products created in the meth “cooking” process can be harmful. Even short-term exposures to high concentrations of chemical vapors that may exist in an operational meth lab can lead to severe health problems. An acute chemical exposure occurring during a short amount of time in a meth lab can cause shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, dizziness, lack of coordination, chemical irritation, and burns to the skin, eyes, mouth and nose, and in severe cases, death. The corrosive substances found in a meth lab can cause injury if inhaled or through skin exposure. Solvents present in meth labs can irritate the skin, mucous membranes, respiratory tract, and cause central nervous system effects. Because they are flammable, they also pose a risk for severe burns. Toxicity studies show that chemicals used to manufacture meth can cause a range of health effects including cancer, damage to the brain, liver and kidneys, birth defects and reproductive problems.
“Cooking” releases large amounts of methamphetamine into the air that settles on most items and surfaces throughout the building. Liquid waste from the manufacturing process is often spilled affecting the floors and walls and dumped into drains contaminating wells and septic tanks. The air born contaminants can enter and contaminate the heating and cooling system.